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Assessment Results

Chiropterotriton chico


Assessed for: Mexico   on: 27 May 2020   by: AArk/ASG Assessment Workshop
Order: Caudata Family: Plethodontidae

IUCN Global Red List: (not assessed)
IUCN National Red List: (not assessed)
Distribution: Mexico
Evolutionary Distinctiveness score:
Mirna G. Garcia-Castillo © 2020 Mirna G. García-Castillo (1 of 7)

Recommended Conservation Actions:

Additional Comments:: Proactive, precautionary steps should be taken to detect the arrival of Bsal in Mexico through the swabbing of both wild and imported salamanders, in addition to a total ban on the importation of non-native salamanders (Mexico Red List Assessment Workshop 2019).

Question # Short Name Question Text Response Comments
1 Extinction risk Current IUCN Red List category. [Data obtained from the IUCN Red List.] Vulnerable (VU) Listed as Vulnerable because despite being confined to a well-managed protected area without any threats to the habitat, its very restricted distribution and likely small population size make this species susceptible to the effects of stochastic events such as disease outbreaks which could drive the species to Critically Endangered in a very short time.
2 Possibly extinct Is there a strong possibility that this species might be extinct in the wild? No / unlikely
3 Phylogenetic significance The taxon’s Evolutionary Distinctiveness (ED) score, as generated by the ZSL EDGE program. (These data are not editable by Assessors).
4 Protected habitat Is a population of at least 50% of the individuals of the taxon included within a well-managed or reliably protected area or areas? Yes / probably This species is only known from Parque Nacional El Chico in Hidalgo
5 Habitat for reintroduction, conservation translocation or supplementation Does enough well-managed and reliably protected habitat exist, either within or outside of currently protected areas that is suitable for conservation translocation, including population restoration or conservation introduction? Yes / probably Parque Nacional El Chico in Hidalgo
6 Previous reintroductions Have reintroduction or translocation attempts been made in the past for this species? No
7 In situ conservation activities Are any in situ conservation actions currently in place for this species? (Only required if a Red List Assessment has not been completed, or if new actions have been implemented since the last Red List Assessment. (Information from the Conservation Actions section of the Red List assessment should be reviewed and considered when answering this question.). Yes / probably The entire known range of this species is within a national park that was established in 1922. Apart from longstanding habitat conservation, there are no other known conservation actions in place for this species.
8 In situ conservation activities Are additional in situ conservation actions required to help conserve this species in the wild (e.g. habitat restoration and/or protection, control of invasive species, national legislation etc.)? No / unlikely
9 In situ research Is additional in situ research required to better understand the species, e.g. distribution, population trends, natural history etc.? Yes Research is needed to understand the extent of population decline, causes of decline, and what conservation actions would be appropriate to prevent and reverse the decline.
10 Threat mitigation Are the threats facing the taxon, including any new and emerging threats not considered in the IUCN Red List, potentially reversible? Threats unknown Though this species is known from a protected area, it is found in limited total distribution and there is unexplained decline in population (García-Castillo et al. 2017). One suggested factor in the drastic population declines in this species is the arrival of the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Garcia-Castillo et al. 2017). The fungus was absent in a sample of 30 individuals sampled in 1972, but present in a sample of 40 from 1974 (Cheng et al. 2011).
11 Over-collection from the wild Is the taxon suffering from collection within its natural range, either for food, for the pet trade or for any other reason, which threatens the species’ continued persistence in the wild? No / unlikely
12 Population recovery Is the known population of this species in the wild large enough to recover naturally, without ex situ intervention if threats are mitigated? Unknown This species is known from 30 specimens collected in Parque Nacional El Chico in Hidalgo, Mexico (García-Castillo et al. 2017). From the 1950s into the 1970s, the species was incredibly abundant locally. High numbers were encountered on other trips, but by the mid-1970s salamanders became uncommon and then rare. Apparently, the past population decline was not related to habitat loss or disturbance. Parra-Olea et al. (1999) did not report important changes in habitat quality or availability in Parque Nacional El Chico. A single individual was recorded in 2002 (G. Parra-Olea pers. obs.) and another individual was observed in 2016 (S. Rovito pers. obs). One suggested factor in the drastic population declines in this species is the arrival of the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Garcia-Castillo et al. 2017).
13 Action plans Does an Action Plan for the species already exist, or is one currently being developed? No
14 Biological distinctiveness Does the taxon exhibit a distinctive reproductive mode, behaviour, aspect of morphology or physiology, within the Order to which it belongs (e.g. Anura, Passeriformes etc.)? No aspect of biology known to be exceptional
15 Cultural/socio-economic importance Does the taxon have a special human cultural value (e.g. as a national or regional symbol, in a historic context, featuring in traditional stories) or economic value (e.g. food, traditional medicine, tourism) within its natural range or in a wider global context? No
16 Scientific importance Is the species vital to current or planned research other than species-specific ecology/biology/conservation within the Order to which it belongs (e.g. Anura, Passeriformes etc.) e.g. human medicine, climate change, environmental pollutants and conservation science? No research dependent on this species
17 Ex situ research Does conserving this species (or closely related species) in situ depend upon research that can be most easily carried out ex situ? No
18 Ex situ conservation activities Is any ex situ research or other ex situ conservation action currently in place for this species? (Information from the Conservation Actions section of the Red List assessment should be reviewed and considered when answering this question.) No / unlikely
19 Husbandry analog required If an ex situ rescue program is recommended for this species, would an analog species be required to develop husbandry protocols first? No / unlikely
20 Husbandry analog Do the biological and ecological attributes of this species make it suitable for developing husbandry regimes for more threatened related species? i.e. could this species be used in captivity to help to develop husbandry and breeding protocols which could be used for a similar, but more endangered species at a later stage? No
21 Captive breeding Has this species been successfully bred and/or maintained in captivity? Not held in captivity to date
22 Conservation education/ecotourism potential Is the species especially diurnal, active or colourful, or is there an interesting or unusual aspect of its ecology that make it particularly suitable to be an educational ambassador for conservation of the species in the range country, either in zoos or aquariums or within ecotourism activities? No
23 Mandate Is there an existing conservation mandate recommending the ex situ conservation of this taxon? No
24 Range State approval If an ex situ initiative was proposed for this species, would it be supported (and approved) by the range State (either within the range State or out-of-country ex situ)? Yes / probably
25 Founder specimens Are sufficient animals of the taxon available or potentially available (from wild or captive sources) to initiate an ex situ program, if one was recommended? Unknown Research into availability of founders needs to be prioritised.
26 Taxonomic status Has a complete taxonomic analysis of the species in the wild been carried out, to fully understand the functional unit you wish to conserve (i.e. have species limits been determined)? Yes

Citation: AArk/ASG Assessment Workshop. 2020. Conservation Needs Assessment for Chiropterotriton chico, Mexico.
https://conservationneeds.org/(X(1)S(hkp1ldxglscvqoqrb1siwxmk))/Assessment/AssessmentResults?assessmentId=5303&countryId=91&speciesId=7411. Accessed 24 Sep 2020